Prawn sizzles as exciting prospects hand Size an early double
Champion trainer John Size sealed an early double on Ladies’ Purse Day on Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse thanks to a pair of bright young prospects, the unbeaten Hot King Prawn and race debutant Conte.
Zac Purton-ridden Hot King Prawn maintains his unbeaten record, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Hot King Prawn lived up to the 73,000-strong crowd’s expectations with a smart effort in race three, the Class 3 L’Oreal Paris Handicap (1000m). One race later, Conte started his career in the perfect manner with a two-length score in the Class 4 Revlon Handicap (1200m).
Hot King Prawn, an eye-catching grey Denman gelding, extended his unblemished win streak to three at the short odds of 1.7.
Jockey Zac Purton expressed satisfaction after the three-year-old had shown smart early pace to race front rank down the straight. Hot King Prawn asserted his authority before the halfway point and forged on to register a two and a quarter-length score in a time of 56.67s.
“It was a good effort today,” Purton said. “They weren’t going to hand up the lead to him and they tried to hold him out, but he’s always shown good pace and he did again today.
“It was nice through the first part and then when we got down to the 600 (metres) he grabbed hold of the bit and wanted to get on with it. I pressed the button early so I could get to the outside fence and give him something to follow and he sustained a long sprint, a long run, so it was a good effort from a young horse.
“I wouldn’t see any reason why you couldn’t run him again at 1000 (metres) at the moment,” he added.
Conte quickens to a debut win under Joao Moreira, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Champion jockey Joao Moreira had the plum ride on Conte, rated a 1.5 chance to win at the first attempt.
Gate 12 was but a minor inconvenience to the Starcraft gelding as Moreira urged the bay forward to camp second, just outside the leader. Shaken up for an effort 350m out, the four-year-old took a few strides to realise what was required of him, but soon knuckled down to extend clear. The winning time was 1m 09.50s.
“He’s a very nice horse. He’ll stay longer and there’s plenty of racing to enjoy with him,” Moreira said.
Size ended the day with a treble when another youngster, Time To Celebrate, landed the Class 3 Canmake Tokyo Handicap (1400m) under Moreira at his second Hong Kong start.
Nassa took the day’s feature, the G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) under Chad Schofield. The victory was a fourth in the race for trainer Tony Millard, and third in succession.
Hong Kong racing resumes at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 8 November.